Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thought You Were Rid of Us, Didn't You???

You know, it's kind of funny, but the less you have to say, the less you can think of to say. I've been pretty silent on the blog front for months - about six of them, so I find myself having a difficult time deciding what to talk about today. Lots has happened since my last post on May 19th. The problem is that most of it is old news. We had all the usual summer excitement. The pups, Wheeler, and I managed a couple of camping trips. On one excursion, Wheeler's cousins came along, and Rob joined us for the other.

We also, snuck in a very relaxing beach trip, so no complaints on that front.

The only unrecorded activity that still haunts us is our last coursing foray. Nick, Rosie and I went coursing over Memorial day weekend. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time until Nick came in lame. He hyper-extended his carpal joint and is thus retired permanently from the lure coursing field. I am, of course, racked with guilt about the whole thing. That particular course lay out started at the top of a hill and made a hard right turn at the bottom. I considered pulling him that morning, and now really wish I had. He was in good shape though, and really wanted to chase the plastic bunny, so I let him run. I guess I’ve been lucky up until now having run my dogs for three years with no lasting injuries. Nick must have taken that turn too tightly, at least that’s what I think happened. He finished the course and didn’t appear lame until he stopped at the finish line, so I’ll never be sure exactly when and how he was injured. In hindsight though, I don’t think he ran the second half of the course with his usual gusto.

Here's poor Nick all bandaged up at the field thanks to my friend Iva - we're very lucky to have a vet who lure courses with us.

After lots of x-rays, and a couple of trips to the veterinary orthopedic specialist, he recommended that we hold off on surgery at least for now. His leg may worsen over time though, and we may eventually end up going that route. The vet recommended that we leash walk him for several months in hopes that his muscles would strengthen and compensate for the damaged joint. We did that, and didn’t let him run free until about three weeks ago. He’s now walking and running without a limp, though I can see that he has some discomfort at times. We tried him on a few days of a metacam, and with that on board, he showed no pain at all. I’m not really willing to start a four year old hound on NSAIs for the rest of his life though,and I want him to be pain free, so we’re headed off tomorrow for acupuncture to see if that helps. The acupuncture vet we’re going to see also does doggie physical therapy, so I hope she’ll recommend some exercises we can do to help his leg strengthen. With luck, it will help. After my experience with Sugar and her chronic neck pain though, I’d rather do surgery sooner rather than later if it will buy Nick a pain free life.


alex said...

Good to see you posting again!
I'm glad to hear that you had some relaxing trips, but am really sorry to hear about Nick getting hurt.
I am sending healing vibes his way. I have been interested in finding an acupuncturist (vet) for Hero too. Hero is 4 years old as well, and while the glucosamine/condroitin seems to help him be less "gimpy" I really do think that acupuncture might help even more.
Hope to be hearing more from you :)

Zan said...

Thanks Alex. I'm hoping acupuncture will help Nick. It really did help my Sugar with her neck pain - problem was, for her the effects didn't last very long and she got stressed out by going to the appointments....then stress aggravated whatever caused her pain. Hugs to Hero and that pretty girl Rumor too!!

Michelle said...

Welcome back! We have missed you! Sounds like your summer trips were nice and relaxing. :) So sorry to hear about Nick. I hope the acupuncturist can help. He will be in our thoughts!

IHateToast said...

poor guy. i'm glad he's getting better. as a runner who buggered up her own leg, you just never know. and, trust me on this one, i'm not fast.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Welcome back to blog land. I hope Nick heals up soon. Those soft tissues can be a big problem. I wonder if water treadmill work or swimming would be good. Seems like both would exert some gentle force on the joint to help strenghten. Let me know if you need a recommendation.... been there and done that with Katie.


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